MARK MARTIN, NO. 5 HENDRICKCARS.COM/GODADDY.COM CHEVROLET, met with members of the media at Atlanta Motor Speedway and discussed racing at Atlanta, the change to the spoiler and other topics. WHAT IS ON YOUR MIND COMING INTO ATLANTA MOTOR ...
MARK MARTIN, NO. 5 HENDRICKCARS.COM/GODADDY.COM CHEVROLET, met with members of the media at Atlanta Motor Speedway and discussed racing at Atlanta, the change to the spoiler and other topics.
WHAT IS ON YOUR MIND COMING INTO ATLANTA MOTOR SPEEDWAY? "Before we get started, I want to invite all the fans to go to Hendrickcars.com and register to win my uniform that I am wearing this weekend...free. They should get in because somebody is going to get it.
"This is a great place to race. Goodyear has brought a tire that is going to be an improvement over what we had last fall. That is going to make it even better. The cool weather is going to be favorable for the cars handling, for all the cars handling. This multi-grove race track just makes for a lot of fun. I can't wait to get started."
HOW DO YOU THINK THE CAR IS GOING TO REACT TO THE SPOILER BECAUSE YOU USED TO TAKE THE AIR OFF SOMEBODY'S SPOILER? "Yes, it is the same thing as the wing as far as that in that respect. It is not going to be that much different. They have some different characteristics, but it is not apples and oranges. It is going to be different; we are going to sort through it. We will start out racing and as we race week after week after week, we'll learn how to maximize and squeeze that last one percent out here, one more percent there as we go. You hit the ground running. You hit the ground at let's say 95% usually. Then you'll just polish on it as you go forward."
YOU HAVE BEEN TO MARTINSVILLE MANY TIMES, IS IT STILL HARD ON EQUIPMENT? "Martinsville is not as hard on equipment as it used to be. A lot of the reason why is a lot of the equipment is bullet proof nearly today. We don't have as many devastating accidents where it really knocks your fender in or you tear a fender in, you push this in, you mash that. We used to tear the cars up a little bit worse and it would clear out the field. Typically, most of the whole field is still running at the end now and mostly all up to full song. Brakes will hold up now, gears, all the things that we used to have trouble with, a lot of different components on the cars. They are strong enough now to take it."
DO YOU HAVE A PREFERRED LINE AROUND THE TRACK OR DO YOU HAVE TO RACE THE FASTEST LINE AND AS THE TRACK CHANGES, HOW DOES THAT AFFECT WHAT YOU ARE TRYING TO DO? "Everybody knows my preferred line is the bottom, no matter what. But, if you have been paying attention, I have migrated from that more lately than ever before. I am certainly not an expert at it and I wouldn't even consider myself good at it, but, I will get off the bottom now if I can find something that works better. But a lot of times, I struggle with finding something that works better than the bottom for me."
YOU HAVE A TEST COMING AT TALLADEGA, THERE IS SPECULATION THAT THE PLATES MAY BE MADE EVEN BIGGER THAN THEY WERE AT DAYTONA BECAUSE THE SPOILER MAY ADD DRAG TO IT, WHAT KIND OF EFFECT DO YOU THINK THAT WILL HAVE ON THE RACING? "My expectation is that the plate will be bigger and the drag will be more with the spoiler and the race will be much wilder than anything we've ever seen before. That should be good for the fans. Not so sure it is good for the color of our hair as drivers, but, definitely should be good for the fans."
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT QUALIFYING HERE AT ATLANTA AND THE BUMPS? "Usually when you get sticker tires on for qualifying, you get the thing taped all the way up, you get the air pressures optimum for qualifying, you can ride those bumps one lap without any big issue unless you bottom out and drag the race track. That is important to try to make sure you don't hit the race track. Other than that, you hang on and ride the bumps because the car will do it. It will stick across them for a lap. Every lap you run, you have to slow down just a little bit more and a little bit more because grip goes away. It is pretty incredible, the single lap you can lay down here qualifying."
-source: gm racing